Sports changes that I would like to see

By Mike Murphy

This is a difficult time of the year for “coach potatoes” as they make the transition from fulltime football to basketball analysts.  Oh, sure, you’ve always got a few rogue viewers who actually enjoy watching a hockey puck zinging around like a berserk house fly on the screen, or testosterone-bloated WWE Raw fans who are just one less brain cell away from picking up a folding chair and bashing it over Fido’s head.  But these are the exceptions.

Looking ahead, there has been discussion about making some interesting changes in sports.  For example eliminating the point after touchdown kick in football and adding more instant replay situations to baseball.  Of course the term “instant replay” should obviously be renamed “endless delay” since it often involves watching a play repeated so many times that the process lasts longer than Chris Christie apologizing for his “stupid” staff members.

I’m all for eliminating the PAT since it is about as exciting as the pre-game coin flip.  In addition, I suggest replacing the leather ball with a javelin to spice the game up a bit.  This would give a whole new meaning to football terms such as “the red zone” and “sudden death” overtime, as well as shortening the games considerably.

Major league baseball games, on the other hand, are going to get a lot longer with additional replays which will result in even more drunken fans beating up each other in the post-game parking lot celebrations.  Plus, with the proposed addition of enough cameras to provide twelve angles for every replay, 7th-inning singers of the lyric “I don’t care if I never get back” may actually get their wish.

Although eliminating the PAT could possibly improve football, I propose some other changes to televised sports.  First of all I would get rid of female sportscasters for football.  Personally I will not watch football games with female announcers.  Their voices simply do not match the action.  You’ve got a 360-lb. lineman knocking a quarterback’s block off and a voice like Alvin of the Chipmunks squeaks, “Ooo whee, that’ll mess up your hair!”  Now, if women insist on broadcasting men’s performances, they could always do figure skating or the Chippendales Male Review.

Just as many folks believe that marriage must be between a man and woman, I believe that manly sports must be covered by men.  However, to be fair, I would not allow men to broadcast female performances like women’s beach volleyball or the Miss America Pageant.  Having men announce these is as absurd as a man hosting a cooking show which would be totally ridiculous because . . . .  What’s that?  They do?  Okay, never mind.

An additional change in sports broadcasting that I suggest is dropping the halftime and postgame interviews.   Now they are even interviewing basketball coaches behind the bench during timeouts!  What next?  Dick Vitale running down the court next to Lebron during a fast break asking his reaction to Kobe’s latest insulting tweet?

Out of all the sports broadcasting changes needed, the most obvious is to get rid of the postgame interviews.  What sense does it make to ask a guy questions immediately after he’s participated in a football game in which he has received a series of major blows to the head most likely resulting in multiple concussions?  I mean, try banging yourself in the head with a brick ten times then see if you sound like Lawrence Olivier.

Case in point is the Richard Sherman outburst after Seattle beat the 49ers to win the NFC title.  After repeatedly watching this video, so far all I have decoded is “Don’t you ever talk about me . . . . That’s what you get!”  It’s getting to the point that officials will have to watch “instant replays” of postgame interviews then announce their decision on an interpretation: “After further review, it is determined that Mr. Sherman had a grudge against Mr. Crabtree based on a past comment and felt that he had taught Mr. Crabtree a lesson by deflecting the pass.”

By the way, Sherman’s website is having a clearance sale on his “Art of Public Speaking” CD.

What made the whole scene even more surreal was that Erin Andrews, the tall blonde former cheerleader, was the interviewer.  Fox Sports seems to have this thing about beautiful blondes, for example teaming Charissa Thompson with some former male stud athletes on its sports highlights show, sort of a beauty and the beasts lineup.   It’s possible the network is projecting another connotation of the term “Fox.”

I have to admit that Erin Andrews did appear a bit intimidated during the Sherman interview.  Wouldn’t it be more entertaining to have, say, a guy like Mike Tyson in his prime handling these postgame interviews?  “Ooo, whee, that I would pay to see!”

Mike Murphy of Pocatello retired after a 35-year teaching and coaching career.  He has a master’s degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is an Associated Press award-winning columnist.

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